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JK Simmons would have to be attached or there’d be no deal, obviously

Spider-Man, 9/27/16

Using Spider-Man as a lens through which to satirize the contemporary media landscape is one of my running jokes that I am reasonably sure is primarily for my own enjoyment, though, you know, if I’m wrong, please contact me about doing a J. Jonah Jameson-centered Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix series called Bugle! Anyway, one strand of said show would involve Spider-Man’s awkward position in being both a superhero and someone who profits from the public’s hunger for superhero-themed content. And just as news outlets’ coverage decisions are more and more influenced by web traffic and Facebook sharing behavior, what’s to say Spider-Man won’t start engaging in clickbait superheroics? If he determines that, say, photos of Spidey battling Doc Ock get more pageviews than photos of him sparring with the Shocker, will he allows the latter to commit crimes unmolested? Will his dignity allow him to follow through on the implications of the viral success of Buzzfeed’s “Top 10 Spider-Fail GIFs We Can’t Stop Laughing At”? The thing that, in the long run, will save him from falling into this trap is probably his total incompetence as a journalist; he can’t even figure out that hiding a tiny point-and-shoot camera in a tree forty feet away from the house where he’s about to confront a not terribly photogenic opponent is a bad idea, so presumably he’s completely incapable of getting useful data out of the Daily Bugle’s Chartbeat analytics dashboard.

Blondie, 9/27/16

Elmo is, in his quiet way, the most unsettling character in Blondie: an elementary-school-age child who seems to have few friends and no family and just hangs out a lot at the home of an adult non-relative. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but for me today’s revelation that Elmo also apparently spends time Dagwood’s next door neighbor and best friend definitely makes things substantially weirder.

Dick Tracy, 9/27/16

Let’s give a big shoutout to the Colvard Institute, D.C.’s #1 think-tank for providing anti-extraterrestrial talking points to elected officials on both sides of the aisle! I certainly hope that, after they had their summer intern multiply two times three and get six and then multiply six by three thirteen times, they decided that was the equivalent at least ten billable hours.

Beetle Bailey, 9/27/16

I gotta say, if you had asked me what Beetle Bailey character was running an underground pharmaceutical ring, I would’ve guess Cosmo, or maybe Killer. Plato wouldn’t have even been on my list of suspects!

French fries made from the finest potatoes brought back from Vinland

Hagar the Horrible, 9/26/16

I’ve slowly come to believe that the episodes of Viking life we see in Hagar the Horrible aren’t disconnected vignettes in some timeless comic-strip eternal now, but actually a coherent story told out of sequence, if only we can piece it together. Today, I think, comes somewhere close to the end. Usually it’s Hagar and Eddie and their band who are raiding castles, as you would expect from a mobile band sustained by plunder. But now they find themselves in the position of defending a castle. Presumably they managed to capture a stronghold, somewhere in the temperate south, and after butchering everyone inside decided to trade their thatched fjord-side huts for the chance to live like Frankish barons. And what did they get for it? Just the responsibility of fighting off the next band of Norsemen who came sailing up the river in their longships. The men have gone all soft, expecting the comfort of prepared food instead of just scarfing down whatever could be hunted or gathered. Was it worth it? Was this really victory?

Dick Tracy, 9/26/16

Ooh, looks like Dick Tracy is going to do an Aliens Are A Metaphor For Those We Deem As “Others” plotline, beloved in scifi and scifi-ish franchises everywhere! Haha, who could’ve guessed that when Dick Tracy did a plot where the government set up internment camps, Dick would be against them.

Sarge, there’s … there’s literally no “around here” you can’t see

Beetle Bailey, 9/25/16

“Beetle and/or Sarge and/or sometimes one of the other characters dangle helplessly from a tree branch protruding from a cliff” is a common trope in Beetle Bailey, but to my knowledge we’ve never seen what happens before those hilarious hijinks … until now! Apparently they trip over a rock. Or “the rock.” There’s just the one, so well known that it can be used as a landmark. You’d think they’d be better about not tripping over it, to be honest.

Mark Trail, 9/25/16

Look, Woods and Wildlife Magazine has to boost circulation, and they’re going to do it the only way they know how: by upping their Swimsuit Issue to three times a year. If you know a better way to get people to renew than to have Mark and Cherry pose sexily while keeping you up to date on important nature facts about, uh, sand or whatever, let’s hear it.

Spider-Man, 9/25/16

Peter’s married now and long out of the dating game, but it’s great to see he hasn’t forgotten classics like the old “Ooops, I ‘forgot’ my wallet” maneuver!